advice needed-wife is ditching digital and going film

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wilfbiffherb

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Hi all,

Just after a bit of advice. I've been shooting film for just over 2 years now while my wife has been shooting digital. She has a Canon 7th but is fed up with the whole digital work flow. She wants to sell her digital and get into film because she prefers the look of b&w film and would rather work in the darkroom.

I'm after advice on what kind of 35mm to look into getting her. I shoot entirely medium format so I have no clue on 35mm slr's.

She will be shooting mostly portraits on both colour and b&w, she tends to shoot with wide apertures, mostly in natural light and some flash, and she needs the available lenses to be sharp. She's not too bothered about auto focus but she would like built in metering and perhaps some exposure compensation etc. Being a digital shooter I don't just want to throw and entirely manual slr at her.

So any suggestions?
 

baachitraka

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If you guys have EF lenses, then I may recommend EOS film cameras that have good metering and auto-focusing capability.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EOS

Please, scroll down to film cameras section.
 

munz6869

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I agree - it's an easy transition from a Canon 7D to ANY of the previous Canon EOS film SLR's. I have an EOS 500n, 50e & 1v, and really, they are all just supporting bodies of varying build quality for the lenses. When I bought the 500n 'new' in the 90's - I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread and ran 100's of rolls through it - you can get these on ebay for loose change now! If you only have EF-s lenses, then get a 50mm f/1.8 - it'll fit both your 7D and any EOS film camera, is only $150 new, wide aperture and SHARP.

Marc!
 

paul_c5x4

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Agreed. If she already has a selection of EF lenses (not EFS), stick with Canon. Go for a recently made body and avoid the older 600 models - Quite a few of the older bodies are suffering from a Canon Wheeze. This is due to the light seals breaking down and gumming up the shutter blinds.

Rather than picking a random body from ebay, I'd recommend being able to give it a close look and exercise the shutter a few times before purchasing. Look for oily smears on the shutter blinds and reject anything that is even slightly suspect.
 

Jesper

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In 35mm I'm a Nikon/Leica shooter but I strongly agree with the rest. Stay with Canon.
 

onepuff

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Can I suggest an Olympus OM-4 Ti if she wants to ditch her Canon kit entirely. It has manual and aperture priority modes, muti-spot metering, off-the-film flash metering and very simple and intuitive controls. The body and lenses are compact and relatively light but with one of the biggest and brightest viewfinders ever in a 35mm SLR making focussing with the manual lenses very easy. They have a large range of excellent, sharp, high contrast lenses available with many focal lengths going to f:2. The 85mm f:2 is a superb portrait lens, slightly softer than most Olympus lenses with a lovely bokeh. I have found these cameras to be extremely reliable, the one thing to watch for being the foam seals becoming gooey on the older ones though it is pretty simple to replace these at home with a seal kit.
 

BMbikerider

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A wife in a million - one who sees the truth! Wish her good luck
 

snapguy

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My advice to you is that your wife is a keeper.
About the camera thing - I'm a dedicated Nikon man but I agree, keep the family in the Canon family. I makes sense.
 

Fotoguy20d

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As others said, if you already have EF lenses, why not stick with those. Take a look at the Elan 7 family and the EOS 3. Both can be had very inexpensively (especially compared to the cost of a 7D).

Dan
 

Two23

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She's not interested in a relatively lightweight medium format system such as Bronica ETRSi 645? They have metered prisms available, as does Pentax 645.


Kent in SD
 
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wilfbiffherb

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Thanks for the advice guys. She's only got the 1 lens left now, a 50mm 1.8 lens I think, not sure on the model. Don't think she's too fussed about sticking with Canon. I've been eyeing up the Nikon f100 which looks right up her alley, I'll look into these ones mentioned, thanks all.
 
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Remember: Darkroom = Dimly lit, low-brow wine bar.

s-a
 

MattKing

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I'm surprised no-one here has asked if your wife has a sister.

The 50mm 1.8 EF lens plus a 7e would be a great combination.

Or an EOS 3, or even an Elan IIe.
 

mauro35

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Agreed. If she already has a selection of EF lenses (not EFS), stick with Canon. Go for a recently made body and avoid the older 600 models - Quite a few of the older bodies are suffering from a Canon Wheeze. This is due to the light seals breaking down and gumming up the shutter blinds.

Rather than picking a random body from ebay, I'd recommend being able to give it a close look and exercise the shutter a few times before purchasing. Look for oily smears on the shutter blinds and reject anything that is even slightly suspect.

This was exactly my experience. I started with a Canon 450D and then moved to film soon after. I had at first a cheap canon EOS Rebel G and now moved to an Elan, after experiencing the shutter problem due to the light seals spreading sticky black gum on it. The problem can be quite serious. It can cause the photos to be partly exposed, not exposed at all if the shutter gets stuck or grossly overexposed if jammed while closing, so I can highly recommend as well, when buying, take a very close look and make sure the curtains are very clean and try the shutter at different speeds as well.
Now I'm very happy with the Elan, it has a relatively good light meter and I personally use the Canon 50mm f2.5 macro, a spectacular lens and in my opinion the absolutely sharpest of the whole Canon series. I like it for portraits because if you use it wide-open it does not show too many skin blemishes and at the same time it has extremely low distortion, so the face looks very natural and balanced.
 

fretlessdavis

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A Nikkormat FT3

+1 on this. It was my first film camera. Bombproof, and took every Nikon lens ever made. Pretty heavy, though, and Nikon glass is a bit spendy.

+1 on the ETRSi comment, too. 95% of the time I shoot my ETRS. I got my original rig for about $125, with a body, 75mm, 120 back, and prism. Add in a 50mm f/2.8, and a 150mm f/3.5 and a speed grip for 35mm-like handling and you're under $300 for everything you could need. A Nikkormat or other nice Nikon body, 50mm, 28mm, and 100ish lenses of good quality and you're looking at $300, too.

I find that my handheld shots on 645 with 400 speed film are about equal to my average tripod 35mm shot with FP4. With FP4, 645 is actually a huge step up from 35mm, and apparent to me (tonality-wise) at an 8x10. Plus, I find 35mm reels tedious and difficult to load. 120 film on the other hand is very easy to work with in the darkroom. If she's trigger happy on digital, MF might make her slow down a bit at first, making the cost difference minimal when you figure in mediocore shots and such that can happen if you're trigger happy with 35mm.
 

megzdad81

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I would suggest not throwing a camera at her.

On a serious note, my local camera shop always has film cameras and lenses available on consignment. If you have someone like that available in your area, maybe part of the fun for her will be the choosing.
 
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wilfbiffherb

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Alas with living in the north west of England there is nothing remotely like that round here
 

Paul Howell

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My questions: AF or manual focus, if manual focus does she want or need auto exposure? If she is shooting kids or pets does she need a waist level finder? Sports or wildlife, long lens and a motor drive? Large or small body, what about weight, is she expecting to hike with it? Low light? Batteries, AA or lithum?
 
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There are also cameras in the classified section here on APUG. Might be worth checking out.
 

Ektagraphic

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If she only has the one lens, I think that switching over to the F100 would be a great idea. It's a great camera and there are many great Nikon lenses. The F100, in my opinion, is very user friendly and feels good in the hand.
 

ToddB

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I select a good Canon since she has Canon glass already. Get a good hardy camera body.

Todd
 

Nathan King

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I own a Canon EOS1-V HS and love it! If you're looking for portable medium format then the Mamiya 645 with the power drive and metered finder works like a big SLR. It's heavier, but the negative is much larger and glass is wonderful and cheap!
 
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